Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Mosquito Problem

mosquitoesAbout a year ago I had the misfortune to get lost in the Atchafalaya swamp in Louisiana. Mosquitoes were everywhere. I wore my coat, despite the heat, to keep from getting bitten. Unbeknownst to me, however, the bottle of Wizard Water© that I kept in the top pocket was leaking.

The mosquitoes were ravenous. They tried to reach me through the wool coat. Suddenly I felt a strong breeze. I looked up. There, hovering overhead, was a swarm of the largest mosquitoes I had ever seen. I felt the damp pocket and realized the insects had absorbed the elixir while probing the coat.

I turned heel and ran as fast as I could. A fishing shack lay ahead, but even closer lay a dory pulled up onto high ground. I dove under the little boat just in time. The mosquitoes followed close on, hitting the hull so hard that their stingers drilled straight through the wood.

When I saw the pointed beaks appear inside the boat, I did not wait. Quickly, I turned each proboscis back against the wood so the insect could not remove it. Soon the underside of the boat looked like a carpentry project full of bent nails.

My troubles were not over, though. The boat began to rise. I hauled myself under the cross thwarts and hung on. The mosquitoes, their beaks stuck in the hull, lifted the upside-down dory into the air. They carried it above the shack, then above the trees.

I was worried at first, but the increased elevation enabled me to get my bearings. New Orleans lay to the east. Even better, by carefully swinging an arm or a leg, I discovered that I could direct the still-hungry insects to fly where I wished. We headed toward the city. We might have flown all the way there, but a strong gust of wind dislodged me and I fell into Lake Pontchartrain. I managed to swim safely ashore and walked to the French Quarter. The boat flew out of sight.

Since then, I always check the corks that seal my bottles. If you bought a bottle from me before this year, you should, too.


NOTE: Mrs. Doc knows that the passive voice is considered bad form, but Doc doesn't reform easily.

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

No comments: